Organizational MBTI

Let’s apply functional pairs to the organization as a whole.  To make a decision, you need to communicate and collect information, and then decide.  As we stated at the beginning of this entry, communication and decision-making are the two behaviors that are most related to functional pairs.  Myers believed that the optimal decision making process uses the four type functions in the following order: Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling with specific steps or points to consider with each. See the diagram at

Say your organization is dominantly NT.  Your team will likely focus less on Sensing and Feeling.  Questions like, “What are other alternatives to consider?”(N) and, “What is the underlying problem?”(T) will come easily and will be comfortably discussed at length.  However, questions like, “What will other people think of our decision?”(F) and, “What have we done in the past that works?”(S) will be raised less often.  When all four functions are not equally used in the decision making process, the resulting decision may not be optimal.  In order to avoid this mistake, teams should be aware of their dominant functional pair preference and actively pay attention to all four functions.

Do you know your “heart of type”?  Are you asking the right questions? Making the best decision possible?  Is your team as productive as they can be?  Understanding functional pairs can help coworkers understand one another, improve decision-making, and consequently, increase productivity.  Unnecessary conflict can be avoided when team members understand and respect their coworkers’ communication preferences that are inherent to their “heart of type”.

Managers can improve productivity by hiring a well-rounded team composed of employees with all four functional pairs, and by doing so, will ensure that the decision making process runs smoothly and effectively.  An existing team in which some functional pairs are not well represented can compensate for this by understanding what questions they need to ask that might not come naturally to the types represented, but that other functional pairs might contribute to the conversation.

If you know your functional pairs, you’ll know a more satisfied, effective, and productive team.


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